The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

9 ways to ace your endings

So, you’ve crafted an interesting opening to your story, article, blog post or other writing. You’ve taken readers through the details and why the piece is important. Don’t let your writing screech to a halt as if you’ve hit a dead end sign. “From our earliest years, we learn that stories have endings, however predictable,” […]

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Podcasting: What communicators need to know in 2018

This American Life. Canadaland. CBC’s Quirks and Quarks. For Immediate Release (FIR). Reply All. WNYC Studios’ Death, Sex & Money. Members and friends of IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators called out the podcasts they listen to – are maybe even addicted to – at a recent session. What is a podcast, anyway? Speaker Donna Papacosta said […]

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Reach for success by conquering your fears

The funny thing about success is that people usually know what we should do, but fear often holds us back. Here’s what I learned from a discussion with the members of Communicators Connection, who shared secrets to success at a networking event earlier this month: Fear is a powerful obstacle. While it’s okay to be […]

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I love the spirit, but the words are ‘recondite’

Wayne State University is again trying to draw attention to some of the English language’s “most expressive — yet regrettably neglected — words.” Its annual list shares words it says “deserve to be used more often in conversation and prose.” I love the spirit of the idea, as I said in 2016. But some of […]

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3 ways to give numbers the context they need

Can you picture almost 80 million litres? Probably not. It’s a huge number, too big to understand without context. A client wants employees to understand the importance of managing energy like diesel fuel. To make the 80 million litres the company used in 2017 more relatable, he used the fuel economy of his VW TDI […]

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Your mission: make the logo boring. (Nailed it)

Maybe “The Weed Store” was taken. For years, beer drinkers in Ontario bought their 12-packs and two-fours at an outlet called Brewers Retail. Unofficially, people called it “the beer store,” and The Beer Store it officially became in a 1985 rebranding. Now the Government of Canada is getting ready for the legalization of cannabis this […]

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Twitter fails: Why these tweets are missing the boat

Maybe some people missed the message that Twitter is all about creating and sharing information with people. You know, making a connection. Usually, we tweet about links we find interesting, inspiring, startling or in other ways worth sharing. We pose and answer questions, complain or resolve complaints. We share and learn about breaking news and […]

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Creating a corporate video? Here’s how to crush it

Just the word “video” in email subject lines boosts open rates, Cyrus Mavalwala, ABC, told a group of professional communicators this week. Using video makes it 10 times more likely people will share or comment on your posts. Video increases the chances you’ll end up on page one of search results. Video can also substitute […]

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Find your focus in the nut graf

You’ve found a terrific opening to your story or article. Readers are interested and willing to keep reading to find out more. Where do you take them next? The “nut graf” almost always follows the lead (also called a lede) and explains the news value of the story. Poynter says it’s called the nut graf […]

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So, Facebook, you think you know me

Those of us on Facebook freely share our likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings. We know that someone is listening, but don’t really give it much thought. We may pay a little more attention now that we know a researcher collected and used data from 50 million Facebook users. We may also hesitate to fill […]

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